general job hunting questions

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by mkats, May 21, 2010.

  1. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    I didn't want to usurp Brian's job question thread, so I thought we could use this one for general job hunting questions.

    Here's mine - about two weeks ago I applied for a position and never heard back. Today I saw that the ad had been reposted in the same place as before, but with a more recent date (yesterday). My question is - do I assume that I've already been passed over for this job and should just let it go, or can I try again since they're still looking? (Or can I email them and ask for a followup to my previous application?) This is a position I really, really, want.

    Thanks - and big hugs to all the other frustrated job hunters out there...
  2. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Absolutely try again/follow up - it's possible your first application was lost or misplaced.
  3. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    If there's some way to research the number of the hiring manager or HR, you can call and ask if they received your info. Calling sometimes works as it may lead to a mini phone interview. No guarantees, though.

    If you can't dig up a number, you can send an email. Title it "Position X - Follow Up" Write it as if it was your cover letter. You noticed the other ad, replied, hadn't heard, and now see it again. Then, tell them that the position is something you're really interested in and uniquely qualified for because... Basically, the follow up email should be another sales pitch to see if you can get in for an interview.
  4. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    Here's the thing: it seems that the application process for this job is being done through a company that specializes in hiring/placing people. There isn't enough on the job description for me to figure out the identity of the actual place that I'd be working. I did find the office phone number of the lady (the recruiter) that I'd sent my application to - should I go ahead and call her, or send the followup email to her?
  5. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I would call, even if it is only the recruiter. Just tell them you are following up after not hearing anything and that you saw the ad again, you are still very interested and you think you would be great for the job. Good luck!
  6. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    I agree that you should call and follow up, if you are a strong candidate, but just some words of wisdom: when a co goes to a headhunting agency to fill a position, it means they haven't been able to fill the position on their own, usually b/c they are looking for a very specific set of skills and experience. And if they've reached a point where they're willing to pay for their ideal candidate, they usually won't compromise on anything, so if you are not the exact person they are looking for, unfortunately you won't be considered.

    I've run into this many times. The headhunting agency usually has a long list of requirements that they don't post in the job ad, so you usually have no idea what else the place is looking for. The job ads headhunting agencies post tend to be general b/c 1) space=money, 2) if the co is looking to replace a current employee, they don't want to give away enough info to tip the employee off, and/or 3) the headhunting agency likes collecting resumes to increase their chances of filling a position down the road.
  7. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    I hate these outside recruiters. Sigh.

    Before you call, check the ad and look carefully at every keyword in the ad, and then check your resume to see if you've incorporated every single one of the keywords. Way too often they're looking for a word-for-word perfect match with zilch understanding of what many of the words mean.

    I knew someone initially not offered an interview because he listed expertise with Oracle Database Software on Sun servers-- he'd actually worked in Oracle's consulting division. The screener didn't pass him on because his resume didn't mention Solaris -- the operating system used on Sun servers. Luckily he called back, and sure enough, the person screening resumes had no idea that using Sun servers -- at least in the past decade or more -- rather intrinsically implied that you were working under Solaris.
  8. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    If you have a sense of which companies it might be, you can also check their websites to see if they have an ad posted. Even try googling any phrases that sound specific. I have figured out several blind opportunities that way.
  9. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    YES... google a word string from the ad within quotes, then type the city you're looking in. It's amazing how often the company site pops up!
  10. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    A lot of web-based job posting sites has a function where the recruiter can request that the job be automatically renewed each month. It's possible that the job re-appeared for that reason. I use that function all the time until the position is filled. It doesn't mean you've been passed over.
  11. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    Well, that was a bust.

    I went ahead and called the number listed for the recruiter and got voicemail - of someone else, so I called the main recruiting company and asked to speak with the recruiter listed. They told me that she no longer works here :confused: I explained that I was calling with regards to job listing so and so and that she was listed as the person of contact, and the receptionist put me through to someone else's voicemail - I couldn't even catch the name. I left a voicemail for that person explaining my situation and stating that I wanted to check on the status of my application and reiterate my interest in the job, but I wouldn't be surprised if they never call/email me back.

    I thought about resubmitting my application, but the email listed is still that of the recruiter who no longer works there. Should I still go ahead and do it?

    (Oops, forgot to mention - it's not a company, it's a medical private practice. They were vague enough to let you know what specialty it's in, but there are too many in this region to narrow it down)
  12. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Patience, little grasshopper. If it sounds like a complex job, it's in a larger practice or is in a satellite office of a hospital. Now's the time to milk your network. You know the specialty, so search all your LinkedIn and other contacts to see if you have someone who might get you on the trail.

    This may not be your cup of tea, but I'm brazen enough to cold call the most likely employers. Ask to speak to the office manager, then ask about the posted job. You'll either get "we don't have a posting" or "ummmmm, followed by a long pause, followed by instructions to call the recruiting firm" If you do get a hit, you can research that particular practice and get some specifics so that you can follow up with the unnamed recruiter again. Meanwhile, send a cover letter and resume directly to the practice - office manager or medical director depending on the job. Indicate what a great fit you are, that you are trying to work with their recruiter, but the person assigned has left the firm (true) and you want to make sure your qualifications actually got to the practice.
  13. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    That's a great idea - what's the worst that can happen? At best you hit pay dirt, at worst you might open up a few additional opportunities. And wouldn't the practice like to know that their recruiting firm is putting out ads with invalid contacts?

    Many years ago when hubby was just out of college, he made a list of about 8 firms he wanted to work at. He put on a suit, stashed a bunch of resumes in a briefcase, and walked into every one of them, asking to see the boss (who's name he already had). He managed to speak directly to about half of them, got call backs from two in the next few days, and then an offer from the one he ended up working with for about five years.

    I've never known anyone to do that before or since - and trust me this is not the kind of thing hubby normally does - but it worked!
  14. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    Excellent, after much online stalking I think I just found it :) Problem is they have two offices listed in the same area, but I'll just check in with both. I wish it wasn't Friday after hours, but I guess Monday morning would be a better time to call anyway. (You're right...I do need to learn some patience. The whole job hunting process is proving to be immensely frustrating, but I'm working on it!)

    Jenny - that's an excellent idea as well - and depending on how desperate I get, I might go ahead and try it on the clinics in this area (especially the ones that took care of my skating injuries over the years... :lol:). If I were to visit private practices, I should ask to see the office manager, right?

    A huge thanks to you both and everyone else who's responded - I really appreciate it.
    LynnW and (deleted member) like this.
  15. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Nice -- I hope it works out for you -- and good luck with something else even if it does not.
  16. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

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    Follow-up--Follow-up! The very first rule of job hunting...but don't be a pest.

    Job hunting is a fulltime job and I wish you all the best!
  17. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Active Member

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    Absolutely a full time job - and one of the hardest you will ever have in my experience. I even found it hard when I was applying to fulfill my Employment Insurance requirements and didn't particularily want to get a job :p

    One of my favourite stories about the potential of following up was when my sister did just that. After she applied for a job in her field she was out of town for a several days and had no messages from the company. She really thought she was a good fit so she called them just to be sure she hadn't missed a call from them and was told that she hadn't made their short list for interviews. She told them she was sorry to hear that since she would have been a good candidate and thanked them for their time.

    Half an hour later she got a call back. After her call they had reviewed her application and though they stood by their initial feeling that she was not the candidate they were seeking, if she wanted to come in for an interview under that understanding they were willing to give her the time.

    So of course we know what happens - aced the interview and moments after arriving back home she got the call that the job was hers.

    OMG - first thing I thought of when reading #2 was - I wonder how many times the current employee unknowingly applies for their own job? :eek:
    Chances are if the company is that unhappy with an employee it goes both ways and the employee will be out there looking in their field already.

    Good luck to all the job hunters out there. One of the hardest things is not to let it get you down. Remember to network as much as you can - human nature being what it is many people will show a preference for someone they know or know of - even if it is the friend of an acquaintance or a more tenuous connection.
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  18. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    In 2000, I worked for a company that actually searched Monster every Monday for newly posted resumes of its employees. Anyone with a fresh resume who was between client assignments got canned. It backfired on them, though, as many of us found better jobs AND collected severance. If they just let it go, we would have walked with no $$$.
  19. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    How ridiculous! Instead of firing everyone they should have taken a look at themselves and asked why everyone wants to quit!
  20. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Active Member

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    Very ridiculous - in today's job climate it is very wise to keep feelers out there in the job market at all times - it's just too much work for me.
  21. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

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  22. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this article. I, too, am an underemployed job seeker. That's a long story in itself, and I am sure I will be posting with lots of questions.

    But, one thing that I have discovered in my job search is how small my network is. I am working to try to build it, but it's frustrating, especially with the knowledge that most job seekers are successful because of who they know, not necessarily the skills/experience that they have.

    Someone has suggested that I try to do some informational interviews, especially since I am trying to change careers. I would be interested in getting your opinions about that (how successful can they really be, how to get in touch with someone to get them set up, etc.).

    Thanks for all of the good advice that's been given so far....keep it coming!!!:D
  23. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I think it's an excellent way to enlarge your circle - and it's a good way to test your resume and your pitch, and stay sharp for when it's an interview for something you really want.

    Over the years I've interviewed many people who weren't right for the job I had to offer, but if I liked them, I'd give them names of colleagues in other companies, and ideas of where else they might look. I also met with a lot of people as favours to others, and again if they had promise and I liked them, I did what I could to help them.
  24. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    That's actually a great intro - you could have a word with the doctor or other practitioner who treated you, tell them you were impressed with the facility, and ask if there are any opportunities and who you should speak to. It's always better to say "Dr Smith said I should speak with you" than to ask cold.

    As for who to ask for, I don't know enough about how these places work, but I can tell you this: ALWAYS be nice to the receptionists/assistants and treat them with respect. They can be the difference between getting in or not, often have the ear of their bosses, and can be your go to person in the follow up stages, not to mention your first friend when you start your new job.
  25. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    I called this morning and they told me it had already been filled and they were no longer hiring. I feel like I should've taken that opportunity to insert something about how I would have been a perfect candidate, but all I could think of was to say "oh, that's too bad..." which they immediately followed up with "mhm, thanks and goodbye". :(
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  26. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

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    I have a question about a position that I want to apply for.....

    I found a position that sounds really good to me. In fact, I was able to get the name of the recruiting manager and the hiring manager for this position and email information. A friend of a friend referred me and has been gracious in allowing me to use him as a reference.

    Don't ask me why, but now I'm scared to apply for the position. I've been looking for so long and have bumped into so many walls that I'm scared to try to climb through what might be an open window. How to I write the letter to the recruiter and hiring manager and get a response? What things should I be including in this letter to make someone stand up and take notice? And, if it turns out that I am not right for this position, how do I make a good enough impression so that I am considered for other openings? How do I approach this without sounding as desperate as I am beginning to feel about my employment status? How do I do my follow up telephone calls without being a pest?

    Any help that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.
  27. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    Dear God - take a breath! Or have a stiff drink :)

    Is your friend an employee of the company that you are applying to? If not, would the recruiting manager know who your friend is? It may be worth indicating right off the top that "so-and-so" directed me to contact you and spoke very highly of (insert name of the company). The personal touch often helps set you apart. Assuming of course that the person doing the referring is well thought of.

    Any cover letter should briefly outline how your skills match specific elements of the job posting. But don't make it too long. Pick 3 things from the posting that you have ample skills to do based on previous experience.

    As for desperation - never let them see you sweat. Indicate that you have been actively seeking a job but focusing your search with those Companies that have an excellent reputation and one that you want to devote yourself to. Do some research about the Company and be prepared to note one or two things about it (in your cover letter as well as the interview) that sets it apart for you - besides having a job that will give you a paycheck.

    I wouldn't mention that you'd be open to other jobs. If there is another open position that is a good fit for you, they'll know it. Or go to their website and check their career page to see if there is another position that is a better fit for your skill set.

    There are tons of resources on the internet that will help you prepare for an interview. Take a look at a few to get tips to help you feel more confident in the interview.

    The best piece of advice I can give is that you need to treat finding a job AS your full time job. Every day you should be working on it. Like any job, it can be tedious and frustrating. But stay focused on the GOAL and take the emotion out of it.
  28. fan

    fan Active Member

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    i have a slightly different question. how do you go about negotiating salary once you're given a promotion? There are salary bands at my company. i'd like to be at the bottom of the next band, rather than the top of the current one. thanks!
  29. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, Bostonfan. I know that I sounded like a complete nut rambling on, so let me see if I can give some more detailed info and hopefully you won't think that I already had that drink.

    My friend at the temporary position where I was originally hired as a supervisor referred me to another permanent supervisor position at a major pharmaceutical company in my home town. I am no longer a supervisor because my department was eliminated so all management was demoted in order to stay employed. Her boyfriend is in management in the department where there is an opening. He was very nice in saying that I can use him as a reference in any paperwork/resumes that I submit.

    I have been out of permanent full-time work for almost 2 years. I did finish my degree and my PHR certification (will sit for exam this fall) and have been working off and on. But I am ready for the next step. Graduating was supposed to make my job search a little easier, not harder.

    That's a little background. I am typing on my Blackberry so forgive the typos. And again, thank you for the input. I will be sending my resume off this evening. Wish me luck!
  30. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Good luck FiveRinger! But remember no matter how hard you try, there is nothing you can do to guarantee you'll get a particular job. So if you don't get it for some reason, don't feel you must have done something wrong or that somehow you're not worthy.

    Bostonfan's advice was good. Try to make sure that all your communications with the company are clear and concise. People aren't going to read through a lot of stuff so try to get your most important points across quickly and clearly. Knowing the specifics about the company is very important and try to think of ways that your experience or traits will fit in well with this company and the job.

    Don't worry about other possible jobs at the company unless and until you're sure you don't get this one. If you don't, you can always write a thank you note to the interviewer thanking them for the opportunity to have been considered for the job, reminding them how interested you are with the company and asking to be considered for any future opening for which you'd be qualified.

    While it is important to follow up with thank yous, it's hard to remember that the company is on their own time schedule and not yours and may not get back to you as quickly as you'd like, or as quickly as they indicate they will.
  31. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

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    OMG--you guys, I am so sorry. I swear this is the last time I am going to speak on this. I used to work for this company. It was only for about 6 months about 4 years ago, but I left to finish school. The job I had couldn't accomodate my class schedule. You know how that is--they tell you one thing and it turns out another. Anyway, I left on good terms and I am trying to get rehired. It has been impossible to get a response with the current job market. That's why I was so excited about this possible opportunity.
  32. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    FiveRinger, have you called your old boss? His/her assistant? The guy/gal who was viewed as the top performer in the department? The script starts like this "Hi. It's been a while, but I'm in the job market and would love to get back to working at ABC. I've seen a posting for job Z, but I'm having trouble finding the right contacts. Do you have any thoughts on who I can contact?"

    Don't ask for a reference or help getting the job at this point, just for advice on the right person to contact. If you get to the next step in the process, have coffee with the person who helped you and get advice about doing a good job on the interview. As long as you're not asking them for direct help in jumping the line for the job, most people will help with interviewing tips, current issues at the company, company culture, etc. IME, the less help you ask for, the more you'll get.
  33. iloveemoticons

    iloveemoticons Well-Known Member

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    How often should one keep in touch with past supervisors? I've been working at the same job for a fairly long time, and I made the mistake of not keeping in touch my former supervisors for various reasons, ie. they're in other states or I had an internship and didn't work with them for very long. Now I'm interested in applying for a position but the application requires a list of past supervisors and their contact numbers and I'm :wall: now. Is there any way to deal with this? Thanks!
  34. Veronika

    Veronika gold dust woman

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    Pulling this up again. I've been trying to get a job in my new town for over 5 months now, and I'm finally getting some responses. However, the company that I really want to work for is not contacting me. I've applied for many jobs with them, and I haven't gotten so much as an interview. I do have a few contacts in the company, but that hasn't helped either. I'm very much qualified for the jobs I'm applying for, and the company is in the same industry that I currently work in.

    So now that I'm getting interview opportunities with other companies, how do I let the place I really want to work at know this? I want them to think I'm a hot commodity and they may miss their chance with me. But I don't want them to think that I'm saying I'm too good for them. Help???
  35. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    They can be successful as long as you can hold back on asking about open positions. Keep it focused on the company, the skill set they are looking for, trade journals and organziations, types of positions, but not open positions.

    This was a required class project for my MBA. We had to do informational interviews with our current employer, an alumni, and an exec at a company that we would like to work for.

    A friend of mine had a close friend who was an exec at a company that I really liked a lot from the outside looking in, a competitor of my first corporate employer. She arranged an informational interview for me. I loved the place and I received a lot of networking information and possibilities. He even asked to see my resume and gave me some feedback.

    A week later, his secretary called and set up three interviews. All went well and they were going to create a job for me in that department, outside of IT. That's when the first layoffs in 20 years hit, lol. Obviously, no job was created.

    However, I did get invaluable feedback that led me to my highest-paying and most visible job ever. Silver linings, right?

    One bit of advice: tell all your friends and family that you're job hunting. Give them some ideas of companies or agencies you'd like to work with. You never know who knows someone. In the example above, my friend was a nun who had taught the exec many years before, but they had kept in touch as adults through their parish.

    As for the "Ad from No One Who Works Here," I also think it's an automatic-renewal thing to bring in possible new resumes. I remember looking for a job once and getting the most bizarre phone interviews. Recruiters do other strange things: one advertised regularly for certain skills and when I responded, they'd set up a phone interview where they tech-quizzed me in broken english about other skills that weren't in the posting. A corporate friend said that the agency specialized in outsourcing, so they were probably looking to say "Hey, we posted this in the US and got no one who was qualified, but there's this guy in () that can do the job." Sometimes, they're a loss leader or bait-and-switch gamer.
  36. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Try working your network at the preferred company again, but be prepared for more dead ends. Sometimes, the desirable company is the hardest to get into because so few people leave voluntarily. Temp or contract work may be the only way in.

    Some of the most successful companies are very careful about their cash flows, and only create new positions when they are developing new products or when they enter new markets. Most of the successful job hunters I know keep a close eye on business news so they're ready to jump when the market conditions are right.
  37. Veronika

    Veronika gold dust woman

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    They've been posting job openings pretty regularly...which I find frustrating. Maybe they aren't really serious about hiring people right now?

    I appreciate any advice I can get here. All told, I've been looking for a new job for almost 2 years, and I haven't gotten very far.
  38. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    If this company is in your industry, and is local, and you have continually applied and never heard back, then any of the following could be going on:

    - They do not hire directly out of their competitor, as a matter of informal or formal policy

    - They do not like what they are seeing in your resume

    - They know someone in your company who knows you, and are not getting favorable word

    I know those last two things are kind of harsh, but if you've applied and applied there, and never even gotten a nibble, and you truly are qualified, and those jobs are truly open... then something is potentially wrong with how you're presenting yourself/being presented to them. That, or they do not hire out of that local competitor.

    If you know that they hire out of your company, then there is perhaps something up with your resume re: what they're looking for - and that, you could perhaps fix. But if it's the third thing, then that's harsh.

    You said you know some people in that company. Do they know who has been hired to fill the positions you've applied for, and what their background is? If so, maybe that info would help you. Perhaps you are qualified, but the people hired are even moreso. Perhaps the company is looking for something specific that you don't have, and which you can get and add to your qualifications.
  39. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    I can only speak for my current situation, but 90% of our new hires are contract to perm. It gives us a chance to see how the person will work out before extending an offer. The only jobs we post as direct hires are those for scarce skills or a very specific experience level. If you look at our listings on Monster and Dice, it does appear we have openings, but those openings are in niche areas and are the hardest to fill.
  40. Veronika

    Veronika gold dust woman

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    I'm trying to move from one city to another--they are 1.5 hours from each other, but in different states. I do not think that the two companies are competitors, they are in different lines of business.

    I think option number 2 is the best guess. I need to customize my resume to what they are looking for, and emphasize their goals. I don't think they know anyone in my current company.

    I do "know" some people, but they are rather indirect acquaintances, so I don't think I'd feel comfortable asking about their current new hires. I thought that having connections would help, but these aren't good connections, I guess.